I was delighted to be asked recently, by Simply Crochet magazine, if I wanted to talk about crochet-a-longs for an article they were putting together for issue 114.
If you are new to crochet, a crochet-a-long, or CAL, might be a unfamiliar term; well a crochet along is usually a project where the pattern is released in stages so that people can crochet along the individual parts at the same time.
Blankets are often featured, though it could be anything from a shawl to a cushion, though there are many projects out there for amigurumi fans too. Anything where the crochet community can come together and work in tandem can become a wonderful CAL project.
I’m not going to go into everything I talk about (on pages 65 – 66!) because I’ll let you read it yourself – there are also many other wonderful designers that talk about their CALs too.
I did think however that it might be a really nice opportunity to talk about what I like about CALs and I’d love to know your thoughts about them too!
I’ve been running a variety of CALs since 2015, although I had a little break in 2019 / 20, there’s pretty much been something for us to crochet together for the last 5 years – which seems crazy when I stop to think about it! And I know I’m certainly not through with CALs just yet…
Without a doubt my favourite things about CALs are how social it feels, I get such a lovely sense of the crochet community when everyone is working on the same pattern together. I am totally astounded and grateful of the camaraderie of the thousands of participants world wide that have joined in with the various CALs.
As a designer I love getting engrossed in a big design idea and seeing it through from concept to finished tested design. Over the years, I’ve been getting steadily more adventurous with my designs which I hope you will enjoy!
So I’d love to hear your thoughts!
- What are your favourite types of CALs; blankets, shawls, cushions, amigurumi?
- How long do you like them to be? 12 weeks, 8 weeks, 4 weeks?
- Do you like them to be a mystery or do you like to see the finished design?
- Do you like to have a yarn kit available? Or do you like stash busters?
- What are the best bits you’ve experienced with a CAL?
- Is there something you’d love in terms of a future CAL?
There’s absolutely loads of different CALs out there, many are free, or even are run in parts in your favourite magazines. They also often start at different times of the year so you should always be able to find one for your next project.
And of course you don’t have to do the CAL when it’s running if you have other things you need to do, you can always save it until later to work on it at your own pace. And if you are looking for a new project all of my CALs are free here on the blog and you can find the links to them here (or under the CALs and MALs page on the top menu).
And is there going to be a new CAL next year from me? Well watch this space…
Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
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2 thoughts on “The Rise of Crochet-Alongs”
Types of -alongs I prefer? No sewing! Join-as-you-go isn’t too bad, but larger pieces, just to reduce the number of ends.
Since I rarely attempt to do any at the same time as others, planned duration doesn’t count for me.
No yarn kit for me, not unless/until I run out of yarn. (Unlikely!)
Flat, one-size-really-does-fit-all things are what I make.
I’d like to know WHAT is being made, though details can emerge as it goes along. Blankets and shawls are most of my output at age 76. They can be given to literally ANYONE.
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer Jessica, this sort of feedback is really useful for when I’m planning future CALs!